Café Timor, East Timor

Legend has it that a giant crocodile was transformed into the island of Timor

Co-operativa Café Timor (CCT) was founded in the wake of the destruction of much of East Timor (Timor Leste) after it gained independence from Indonesia in 1999. Many coffee farmers and their families were displaced or killed.  Crops were often stolen or destroyed, along with roads, equipment and infrastructure.

 In 2000, a group of farmers united to form CCT in an attempt to successfully market their coffee internationally. Today, the organization has grown to include 19,600 members from 16 base certified organic co-operatives and 494 small-scale farmer groups. CCT obtained Fair Trade certification in 2001. Coffee is the primary source of income for about 44,000 families - approximately one quarter of the country’s population.

Fair Trade funds the National Co-operative Business Association and has helped develop 8 fully operational clinics and 24 mobile clinics, which are now the largest provider of rural health care in the country. East Timor coffee farmers still face many challenges such as; the need for new national agriculture policies, basic education and training, and rebuilding infrastructure. Expanding direct trade with Fair Trade coffee consumer markets is seen as an important step to accomplishing rural community development goals.

Quick Facts:

Name: Co-operativa Café Timor (CCT)

Country: Timor

Date Established: 2000

Members: 19,600 people

Products: Coffee

Region: East Timor, South East Asia

Altitude: 1200-1800 meters

Social Premium Programs:  Operational and mobile health clinics